Late in 2010 we were approched by Art Public to become involved in the Bus Tops project for the 2012 Olympics. They asked us to build a number of timber cases to house screens to show electronic art in 30 locations across London in the run up to the 2012 Olympics (the first prototype can be seen above). The project was one of 12 commissions across the nation, one in each of the English regions and one in each of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The original idea was to construct these using London Plane trees sourced from the many Boroughs of London. We spent a lot of time with Art Public manufacturing and modifying the prototype case as we came across technical issues.
To enable us to mill the logs through our sawmill and dry the timber, it was essential that we received enough timber by September/October 2011 to produce the cases ready to go live in January 2012.
Unfortunately, Art Public were unable to locate enough volume of London Plane to do the job. Thankfully, in stepped Windsor Great Parks. We visited the park forester to select enough English Beech to do the job.
Now, those of you with a modicum of timber knowledge will know that neither London Plane or Beech are durable species, this was pointed out to our customer, who clarified that the project was planned only to last for 9 months. So we treated them with a good oil to protect them from the elements in that time. That in itself produced problems in achieving a good dry surface with the reduced temperatures experienced in November and December.
The project went live as scheduled in January this year. We are proud to be working with Art Public on this project, and hope that we will have further projects together. We are also happy that we have been involved in some way with the 2012 Olympics. This was the second Olympic project for us, having been involved in machining some of the decking material for the Olympic sailing village in Weymouth.